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NBC on Tuesday said it would promote its fall lineup of TV shows on the popular YouTube video site, another example of the growing importance of the Web as an advertising vehicle.
Under the agreement, the TV network, which is owned by General Electric Co., would create an official NBC channel on YouTube that would include a "Fall Preview" area. In addition, the channel would be used to promote other programming, such as "Saturday Night Live," "The Office," and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." The partners also agreed to market each other's products.
In announcing the deal, NBC launched a promotional contest for "The Office." Players can submit their own 20-second video promotion of the comedy series through YouTube. The contest runs through July 21, and the winner would have his video run during an "Office" episode in August.
Besides trying to reach the millions of people using YouTube, NBC wants to discourage copyright violations that have occurred on the site. At the request of NBC, YouTube recently removed a clip of a "Saturday Night Live" rap parody called "Lazy Sunday" that had become a favorite. YouTube has a policy of removing material that infringes copyrights.
"The YouTube and NBC partnership symbolizes what can happen when traditional media companies and new media companies find common ground," John Miller, chief marketing officer for NBC Universal Television Group, said in a statement.
YouTube is one of the most popular video sites on the Web, with 12.6 million unique visitors in May, according to ComScore Networks. YouTube says more than 70 million videos per day are watched on the site.